A ten-year bid to build a boardwalk over part of an iconic Marlborough wetland has been completed.
Volunteers charged with the restoration of the Grovetown Lagoon have marked a milestone moment as the raised pathway was finished.
And the hard-working team have already unveiled future plans – including a possible outdoor classroom, viewing platform and jetty.
Te Whanau Hou Grovetown Lagoon coordinator Justine Johnson says now the Kelly’s Creek boardwalk has been completed they can focus on the next project.
“It’s somewhat fluid,” Justine says. “It’s such an interesting area, the steamer used to come up the steam wharf.
“There’s a lot of iwi history that we’re probably unaware of and a lot of volunteers love the history,” she says.
The oxbow loop of the Wairau River is one of the largest remaining areas of natural value on the Wairau Plain, with areas of open water, swampy ground, springs and adjoining land.
Justine says that when settlers arrived, they used trees from a Kahikatea forest to build their homes.
The group have started planting a tribute forest of replacement Kahikatea trees.
“They called the area Big Bush. Kahikatea is amazing, it grows tall but sheds it’s lower branches,” Justine says.
Over the decade, volunteers have come and gone but people have been keen to lend a hand when they can.
A working bee is held every six weeks.
“Quite a lot of work went into it. People come out and say, I can do this for you.
“Fulton Hogan came and said we want to sponsor you and it all happened quite quickly after that,”
The group also holds a Wetland Warriors meeting every Wednesday from 9.30am to 11.30am.
For further information visit www.grovetown.co.nz